PlayStation 4 to debut Nov. 15
Sony Corp. will begin selling PlayStation 4 in North America on Nov. 15, moving to obtain an early advantage in the largest video-game market against Microsoft Corp.
The $399 player, Sony’s first new console in seven years, will be available in Europe on Nov. 29 and in 32 countries for the Christmas season, Sony Computer Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Andrew House said at the annual Gamescom conference, Europe’s biggest event for the industry. Orders already top 1 million, he said.
Sony’s plans put the PlayStation 4 in more than double the markets of Microsoft’s $499 Xbox One as the two companies begin a multiyear battle for dominance. Microsoft, which initially targeted 21 countries for its debut, last week cut the number to 13 to ensure larger markets have sufficient supplies.
U.S. investigating Jeep fires
Auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that the ceilings can catch fire in 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.
The probe, announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covers an estimated 146,000 of the popular sport utility vehicles.
Toyota to raise steel price
Toyota will increase the price of steel it sells to suppliers by 12 percent in the second half of this fiscal year, Bloomberg News reported, lifting a benchmark used in the country’s auto industry.
The world’s largest carmaker notified its suppliers this week of a plan to increase the price of hot-rolled steel by $81 a ton.
Company pays civil penalty
AK Steel Corp. is paying a $1.6 million civil penalty to resolve air pollution violations that occurred at its now-closed coke plant in Ashland, Ky.
The settlement also calls for AK Steel to spend at least $2 million to improve emissions at its Ashland West Works facility. The state will get $25,000 of that penalty.
GE to add jobs at Ohio plants
General Electric says it will add more than 150 jobs at three factories in Illinois and Ohio to meet what the company says is increased demand for alternatives to traditional incandescent light bulbs. Part of that includes a new deal with Walmart.
The company said Thursday that it will add 70 jobs in Bucyrus and 50 in Circleville. GE will add another 30 jobs at a Mattoon, Ill., plant that makes halogen bulb components. GE has reached a deal with Walmart to stock bulbs from the three plants. Extra production will begin next year.
Hershey wins legal decision
Hershey Co. shouldn’t be forced to turn over child-labor records for African cocoa farms to investors considering suing directors over the company’s purchase of those suppliers’ beans, a court official said.
Lawyers for a Louisiana pension fund couldn’t produce “credible evidence” of mismanagement tied to Hershey’s cocoa-supply chain to support requests for files focused on what company executives knew about the labor force at Ghana’s and the Ivory Coast’s cocoa plantations, Abigail LeGrow, a Delaware Chancery Court master, concluded.
Penn National has plan
Penn National Gaming is closer to its goal of splitting into two companies. Penn National, which owns the Hollywood Columbus and Toledo casinos, plans to separate its gambling operations from its real-estate assets.
Those assets would be held by Gaming Leisure Properties, or GLP, a publicly traded real-estate investment trust that would lease its properties back to the operators. Penn National, based in Wyomissing, Pa., has received approval from the Internal Revenue Service for the split but also needs approval from the regulatory agencies in the 18 states in which it operates casinos and racetracks, as well as from officials in Ontario, Canada.
Compiled from staff and wire reports